Nice Guys != Nice Laws

PBS NewsHour commentator, Mark Shields, had an extremely insightful reaction to Mitt Romney's display of "kindness and generosity" during his acceptance speech in Tampa:

The one question that was raised -- and it is a legitimate one -- is that he was -- is enormously kind to people he can see in acts of personal kindness and generosity of time. But policies affect all kinds of people you don't see, millions of people that he will never come in contact with.

And so acts of personal generosity and thoughtfulness, while totally admirable and a source of great admiration and appreciation, really don't affect public policy. I mean, some of the nicest people I know have voted for some of the meanest legislation. And some of the really selfish people I know have voted for legislation that has touched and changed and been compassionate in changing people's lives.